Never Say Goodbye (1946) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
23 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
8/10
Flynn's best comedy
d-dubery13 February 2006
Errol Flynn had quite a gift for comedy that was sadly rarely exploited. Given the right material this film demonstrates that he could have happily been quite at home in Cary Grant style, gentle comedies. Out of his various forays into the genre this is certainly the best. Patti Brady gives a fine performance in the child part and Eleanor Parker looks simply stunning throughout the film. An added bonus is the wonderful Hattie McDaniel who is sadly underused in this film- a welcome presence none the less. Flynn carries off his comedic duties with the same easy style that he brought to his swashbuckling roles. The fact that he makes it look like it's easy doesn't mean that it is. A super little family comedy, great for the Christmas period or any other time you feel like being cheered up.
30 out of 31 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Forrest Tucker is the real surprise...and Flynn is excellent too...
Doylenf12 April 2005
While I can't say too much for the script, NEVER SAY GOODBYE proves that Warner Bros. should have let ERROL FLYNN have his way with playing comedies more frequently. After a weak start with FOOTSTEPS IN THE DARK, they decided he was better off as the stalwart hero of adventure films instead. But his performance here is a genuine delight.

And FORREST TUCKER as a big Marine lug who thinks ELEANOR PARKER has written him letters during his war service, is another big surprise. His handling of the lovable Marine is downright enjoyable without an excessive amount of mugging. He ambles through the part with authority and the sort of restraint that makes the part just believable enough.

Otherwise, the script is on the uninspired side--with little Patty Brady as a girl who wants her parents (Flynn and his ex-wife Eleanor Parker) to reunite. Naturally all of her plans make for the mishaps and misunderstandings until all ends well.

On the down side, there are a few unfunny scenes during a restaurant rendezvous, but the best part of the film is ahead once Forrest Tucker shows up. From then on, it takes on a breezier style.

Donald Woods has his usual thankless role as the suitor Eleanor is thinking of as marriage material and Lucille Watson does a nice turn as her mother who disapproves of her ex-son-in-law.

Nothing special but it passes the time pleasantly and shows Flynn did have a gift for comedy. His Bogart act is priceless.
18 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Flynn and Parker make a Wonderful Team!!!
blckb536421 November 2009
This movie is a hidden gem. I can't understand why this movie doesn't get more air time. Errol and Eleanor Parker make for a real attractive and dashing couple. And their chemistry is impeccable. I really liked the touch of his daughters reference to him as being her Robin Hood. I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys Errol Flynn. It's nice to see Errol playing a father as well. By all accounts from his very own children, he was a very attentive and loving father in real life. Also, the supporting cast is wonderful as well. You can't go wrong with supporting players such as Hattie McDaniel and Lucile Watson. Hattie McDaniel makes a movie that much better from the get-go. This movie has now become a Holiday tradition in my home. Enjoy!!!
16 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Errol Flynn tries his hand at comedy
blanche-222 June 2008
Errol Flynn is a highly successful commercial artist trying to reconcile with his ex-wife (Eleanor Parker) in "Never Say Goodbye," a 1946 comedy featuring Patti Brady, S.Z. Zakal, Lucile Watson, Hattie McDaniel and Donald Woods. Phil Gayley's (Flynn) philandering (he draws beautiful women in swimsuits) caused the breakup with his former wife Ellen. As a result, their 8-year-old daughter Phillipa (Brady), whose nickname is Flip, spends six months with her father in New York City and six months with her mother, who also lives in New York City. Flip wants her parents back together in one place. They want it, too, but every time it's about to happen, a woman shows up because Phil forgot he made a date with her. Then a marine (Forrest Tucker) comes to town, eager to meet the woman who has been writing to him. It's Flip, with the help of a book and the typing of her nanny (McDaniel). There was one other helper - Phil, who when Flip wanted to send her photo, suggested she send her mother's instead. The marines land just at the right time, when Ellen is out to give Phil a dose of his own medicine.

This is a rather silly script that is helped immensely by a fine supporting cast, the incredible charm of Errol Flynn and the loveliness - and gorgeous gowns -- of Eleanor Parker. She is stunning in this movie, and, as a fan of hers, why her star didn't burn brighter in Hollywood is beyond me. Flynn was wonderful in light comedy, and many people believe it was the right niche for him. The problem is, other actors did comedy as well or better, and Flynn's swashbuckling/adventure work is exceptional. However, it's always fun to see him in something different. His Bogart imitation is suspiciously good; that's because Bogart dubbed the voice. In "Never Say Goodbye," he is just beginning to show a little dissipation around the edges; the major part of his career would be over four years later. It was too short a run.

As others have mentioned, the best part of the film occurs with the appearance of Forrest Tucker, so young he's practically unrecognizable. In fact, he's 27! Worth seeing for the cast.
11 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
a fine romantic comedy
jescue15 April 2005
a fine romantic comedy. errol flynn shows what a deft touch for comedy he possessed. a talent that probably shows some of his true prankster self. the comedic writing on this film is excellent. eleanor parker does a nice job as flynn's ex wife whom errol is trying to win back. eleanor is also easy on the eyes. the sets exude 1940's glamour and style where appropriate.

flynn's comedic timing and wit are displayed to full effect here, watch his double takes, his ability to verbally counter punch with a snappy comeback or act the straight man, and his total believability and sincerity where required, this guy could act! it is a shame errol did not get a chance to do more roles like this throughout his career, he was multi-talented to the extreme. if you enjoyed "it happened one night" with gable and colbert or some of the william powell and myrna loy comedies you will enjoy this.

well paced and lots of laughs. a lost diamond of a movie.
15 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
A Little Less Than Heroic
bkoganbing17 December 2009
Never Say Goodbye was one of three films Errol Flynn did for Warner Brothers where apparently Jack Warner tried to change his action hero image somewhat and broaden his appeal. No doubt at the behest of Flynn himself who was complaining to Jack Warner the same way Tyrone Power was doing over at 20th Century Fox with Darryl Zanuck.

Errol's a little less than heroic here, just your average divorced father who happens to be a commercial artist. He and Eleanor Parker have been divorced a couple of years now, but daughter Patti Brady so wants them back together again, especially as a Christmas wish.

Errol's willing enough, but he's got some stiff competition in the persons of Donald Woods who is courting Parker and Marine Forrest Tucker who Brady's been writing to. On the imbecilic instructions of her dear old dad who knows what Marines like, she sends a picture of Mommy in a bathing suit. Of course that piques Tucker's interest quite a bit. Errol himself has model Peggy Knudsen interested in him, but she's not going to wait around forever.

Add to this scene stealing veterans like Lucille Watson as Parker's mother and restaurateur S.Z. Sakall and you've got the makings of a nice family type picture, the kind that Errol Flynn so rarely made in his career. Flynn does fine in the part, but for comedy he's far better in Footsteps In The Dark as the millionaire/mystery writer. Flynn's first effort at comedy was The Perfect Specimen done early in his career with Joan Blondell. I've not seen that one, I do so wish TCM would run it.

Never Say Goodbye neither changed Flynn's image with the movie-going public nor did it chart any new directions for him. But it's a pleasant enough comedy diversion. Note that 'imitation' of another Warner Brothers star towards the end.
8 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Flynn being his domestic self.
weezeralfalfa20 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Flynn may not be a dashing pirate, outlaw, warrior or gunslinger in this one, but his lovable aristocratic rogue persona still shines through in this rare superior romantic comedy. All the principals are perfectly cast, Flynn still looking in his prime at 36. His rather recently divorced wife is played by a winsome Eleanor Parker, and Patti Brady is great as their 7 year old daughter, intent on bringing her parents back together. I didn't see the first segment, so assume this couple split because of Flynn's indiscretions with his sexy models for his commercial artwork, which continues to be the main issue throughout the film. Clearly, Parker's family is very wealthy, living in a mansion worthy of Scarlett O'Hara. Flynn's character also appears to be from a wealthy family, he mostly exhibiting his aristocratic demeanor, despite his rather sleazy occupation. Nonetheless,toward the end, he is frequently on the losing end of altercations, flat on his back, in mocking contrast to his usual winning macho image.

Twice, Flynn dons disguises to try to scare away or outmaneuver romantic rivals for Parker. In the first case, he sneaks into Parker's mansion and dons a Santa outfit, as does his romantic rival in another part of the mansion. At one point, to avoid detection by his rival, he engages in mirror mimicry. That is, he mimics exactly the actions of his nemesis, as if the latter is looking in a mirror. I'm sure this has also been done by some other well-known physical comedians, including Bob Hope in 'The Princess and the Pirate'. Later, he made up a burlesqued version of Bogart's face at his most sinister, along with a tough gangster lingo, to try to scare away Parker's young marine romantic threat. It didn't work. Nonethless the film ends on a feel good note. One must assume that this ending either represented yet another short-lived reconciliation or that Parker's character decided that she would have to learn to tolerate Flynn's philandering ways, as preferable to their present arrangement with a chronically complaining daughter.

S.Z Sakall plays his usual role as an elderly overseeing father, uncle or confidant, with a very thick European accent. Here, he is a restaurateur where Flynn frequents with his blond model and presumed lover. Unfortunately, his various attempts to diffuse an embarrassing situation for Flynn all end in disaster. Sakall, a native Hungarian, was already an accomplished European actor before fleeing an impending Nazified Europe. He was most often included in various musical romances of the '40s and early '50s, after a supporting role in 'Casablanca'
5 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
SMOOCHIE!!! Flynn and Parker play divorced parents of a 7 year old daughter. They all know they belong together as a family.
lynpalmer17 August 2017
I thought this was very well done and quite funny. Predictable of course, but great script. I laughed out loud a few times. I wasn't that crazy about the contrived ending that seemed more like a cop out (literally) to wrap things up, but up until the end the action is fast paced, lively and hilarious at times.Flynn does a great job as the father and I loved his Bogie impersonation. There are some funny references to other movies, such as Robin Hood and Christmas in Connecticut. Sparks fly between the 2 stars and the supporting cast is great, especially Cuddles and the little girl. Even though I wouldn't consider this a Xmas themed movie, if you are looking for something fresh and new (in terms of if you haven't seen it yet) instead of A Christmas Carol or It's A Wonderful Life, try this as a family friendly Xmas alternative.
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Very entertaining once you get over the high saccharine level of the film!
MartinHafer22 October 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This was the third time I tried to watch this film. The previous two times, I found the beginning so sickeningly sweet and "schmaltzy" that I just stopped watching. However, now that I am a little older and more compulsive, I forced myself to watch all the film and I was very surprised to see that I actually liked it quite a bit. So, I look at the movie much the same way I would look at swimming in the ocean when the water temperature is 70 degrees (that's about 21-22 degrees Centigrade for all those metric-lovers out there). Sure, the water is terribly cold and shocking at first, but if you FORCE yourself to stay in the water, you'll get used to it--so resist that urge to jump out right away!!

The film begins with a lengthy exchange between Flynn and his daughter, played by a lispy Patti Brady. Some may find there conversations very cute and endearing, though others may find them a bit hard to take since these moments are so gosh-darn sweet! In a way, it was some amazing acting by Flynn because it's hard to imagine him in real life having kids or acting domestic especially that he wanted to be faithful to one woman in this film--now THAT'S ACTING!! NEVER SAY GOODBYE concerns the divorced couple, Flynn and Parker, and their mutual desire to remarry. Since they both love each other as well as their lispy kid, it seems like a foregone conclusion that they will once again tie the knot. However, there are some serious problems standing in their way: Lucille Watson (who plays her usual over-bearing and controlling mother-in-law character), Flynn's girlfriend (after all, he is Errol Flynn and he is divorced, so you gotta expect him to have a girl SOMEWHERE) and a marine (played by Forrest Tucker).

Not unexpectedly, all this does get worked out by the end and everyone lives happily ever after. However, despite it being formulaic and predictable, the film is a winner because it is so much fun to watch. Flynn, despite his reputation as an action-adventure hero, is very good with comedy-romance and it's just a lot of fun to watch him. Also, the film has the ever-scene chewing Cuddles Sakall--he's just so gosh-darn cute and sweet that he is perfect in this type of film. And, despite the sweetness, the film is pretty well-written. The bottom line is the film is FUN.

So my recommendation is that you DO watch this film and force yourself not to retch at the sickeningly sweet aspects of the film. Once you've gotten over this, the rest of the film is a picture that is well worth your time.
10 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
A minor effort from Flynn and company is a major mood lifter
AlsExGal3 December 2017
This film stars Errol Flynn and Eleanor Parker as a reluctantly divorced couple whose seven-year old daughter, Flip, desperately wants to see back together. In this film, you get the sense that it was Parker's mother who pushed for the divorce voicing her constant suspicions about Flynn--suspicions which stemmed from Flynn's career as a commercial artist. Errol agrees with Flip and wants nothing more than to win Parker back.

Sure, it's not an award contender and it's not even among Flynn or Parker's best performances, but I love this film. It's fluffy, it's sappy, but whatever. I enjoy it. Flynn sings in the film. He dresses like Santa. He participates in a parody of the mirror scene in Duck Soup. He does a hilarious Bogart impression (which Bogart's real voice dubbed in). Parker is gorgeous. Flynn is gorgeous. Flip is funny. SZ Sakall is funny. Hattie McDaniel is funny. It's just a great feel good minor classic Christmas film. I'd recommend it.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Good cast, corny premise
greenfrog11 August 2005
Ho hum, one of those predictable puffballs about a feuding loving couple where the wife's insincere flirting with another man makes her husband fume -- and the wise-ass little kid has to conspire to get them back together. OK, Errol Flynn works well. Much better fun watching him not take himself too seriously in a comedy than not take life seriously in his routine swashbucklers. (I guess he was drawn to predictable art.) The whole "Uncle Phil" thing became tedious through repetition. And the naive corporal was too naive to ever let loose with a uniform and a gun. The wife was beautiful and a trouper, and read her lines well. But the fun part for me was guessing whether or not it really was Bogie's voice dubbed over Errol Flynn's Bogie parody scene. I'm betting it really was Humphrey Bogart. Can anyone verify?
7 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
under-appreciated characters!
j-deaton17 December 2009
I agree with most of the comments I've read. The 'Luigi' character is flustered and hilarious, especially at the beginning. While it's a fluff look at serious divorce and the heartache it plays on children, and though there's a goofy lawyer but no corresponding goofy judge; the main thing here is the wonderful child actor, the mysterious Patti Brady as the precocious daughter 'Flip.'

She is so much more natural and delightful than her predecessor Shirley Temple, I don't understand why she didn't continue on for more than a few years. I went and looked up the time frame to see if Shirley could have been copying her, but no, I guess it was the other way around.

This girl went beyond the normal child stereotypes and would have been an improvement in many other Christmas & family & WW II movies (tied in by young giant, Tucker's Marine character, 'Wickie'). I can't find anything on Brady; she must have kept private, later.

When you're watching the stream of standard Christmas repeats, don't miss this one!! It's B&W, but still worth it.
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
"Oh, Cozy, isn't Daddy wonderful?"
utgard1411 December 2014
Schmaltzy comedy about a precocious little girl trying to reunite her divorced parents. The parents are played by Errol Flynn and Eleanor Parker. The little girl is Patti Brady. I have no problem with seeing Flynn in a change of pace role but he really doesn't get to shine in this. You could replace him with a dozen other actors and there would be no noticeable difference. Same with Parker but I always found her rather nondescript. Flynn does sing a little, which will be of interest to fans. Patti Brady is cute but got on my nerves pretty quickly. Lucille Watson is Parker's bitch of a mom. Forrest Tucker plays a marine the mom uses to make the dad jealous. He's probably the best part of the movie. Hattie McDaniel is the maid, Cozy. S.Z. Sakall is a restaurant owner named Luigi (yeah I know but it's explained). Everybody plays their part fine but it's just all so hokey. Pretty much every scene with the little girl is like swallowing a cup of sugar. The romance isn't particularly noteworthy and the comedy is bland. There are some tearjerker moments too. If you don't have a stomach ache by the end of this, consider yourself lucky. Flynn fans might want to see it for curiosity's sake. Everybody else will probably be bored.
3 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Witty and well done
susand11082 September 2019
Surprisingly enjoyable romantic comedy! Errol Flynn is just as brilliant at comedy as he was at adventure and drama. And Eleanor Parker is a wonderful match for him. The script is quite delightful, too.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Flynn Proves to be Quite Adept at Romantic Comedy
Helpfan6528 June 2019
Watching this movie I couldn't help but think it was pity that Warner Bros didn't put Flynn in more romantic comedies. He proves to be quite charming and witty. This film elicited quite a few chuckles from me, loved Flynn's impression of Lucile Watson, his attempts to one up he man Forest Tucker, as examples. I thought the script was pretty good and Eleanor Powell was great as Flynn's ex. Flynn's facial expressions, while not as obvious as Cary Grant's were pretty good. Errol Flynn is quite the charmer with that mischievous sparkle in his eye
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
A soft-sell from Flynn, but he does more for the picture than it does for him...
moonspinner5518 December 2011
Divorced for just one year, a New York calendar artist (who specializes in cheesecake portraits) and a wealthy society lady are reunited by their precocious preteen daughter (nicknamed Flip!). Despite a script littered with talented names (I.A.L. Diamond, James V. Kern, and Lewis R. Foster adapting a story by Ben and Norma Barzman), this overly-cute concoction with holiday trimmings is enough to sink even Errol Flynn's curious good nature. Flynn isn't well-partnered with Eleanor Parker, and his punchlines are no better than those for the rest of the cast, yet he dances around the banal jokes and cozies up to his co-stars with the utmost charm. He doesn't attempt to make something special out of the frivolous material (he coasts through on his good will), but the sugar-coated scenario weakens his matinée appeal and turns him into a plastic prince. As a teddy-bear soldier, Forrest Tucker actually makes a stronger impression. Supporting cast, including S.Z. 'Cuddles' Sakall, Peggy Knudsen, and Hattie McDaniel, adds a bit of flavor, but the over-rehearsed youngster (Patti Brady, with an unplaceable accent) is filled with gooey-false uplift. Leaden package needs more than slapstick, sweet music, and changing partners...it could also use a heart. *1/2 from ****
2 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Flynn can be funny!
mark.waltz17 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Usually being "In Like Flynn" didn't involve humour. He swashbuckled himself from Olivia de Havilland, Bette Davis,Ann Sheridan and Brenda Marshall in a series of westerns and historical adventures, adding slyness to his sexuality and heroism, but seldomly holding down a comedy. "Never Say Goodbye" is standard by 1946 comic plot means, but thanks to Flynn, as an artist divorced from the lovely Eleanor Parker, desperately trying to win her back, it ends up one of the few formula comedies that is actually funny.

Parker's meddling mother (Lucille Watson, in a typical role) had convinced her to divorce the supposedly philandering Errol Flynn the year before, but he never wanted a divorce or had a chance to prove his innocence. A year later, they are sharing custody of their 7 year old daughter (Patti Brady) who desperately wants them to get back together. She is convinced of this when they meet for the first time since the divorce when he returns her to Parker. Meddling Watson is determined to prevent a reconciliation that leads into a repeat of the famous Marx Brothers mirror scene between Flynn and Donald Woods) while dressed as Santa. Then, Parker meets young Bradys's military pen-pal (Forrest Tucker), a burly marine (who does a magnificent conga) and Flynn does a Bogart impersonation to try and scare Tucker off. Flynn's version of Bogart, although stereotypical, is as hysterical as the Bogart impersonator who would chase Bugs Bunny around in a few Warner Brothers cartoons. He seals his title as an underrated comic who was doomed to spears and saddles, tumbleweeds and tights.

In supporting roles, Hattie McDaniel offers her usual amount of laughs as the maid, but S.Z. Sakall goes a bit overboard as Flynn and Parker's restaurant owner pal, Luigi, forgetting the adage "Less is More". He comes off when not toned down (usually the fault of the script) as an overage Shirley Temple, desperately trying to steal every scene he is in. People who remember Tucker from "F-Troop" and "Auntie Mame" will be surprised to see how buff and handsome he was. Parker's character isn't given much good material, but shows some brief spunk in a cat fight with an obnoxious client of Flynn's. Young Brady is engaging as the child with an obvious Brooklyn accent, seemingly added for effect. But, thanks to Flynn's engagingly humorous performance, "Never Say Goodbye" ends up an unpredictably funny comedy with an over-used plot.
1 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Very disappointing film
vincentlynch-moonoi19 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This is the worst Errol Flynn film I have seen...and I say that as someone who generally likes Flynn.

Many films have, as their premise, a misunderstanding between 2 people in love. Okay, that's fine. But to pile one misunderstanding on top of another and another is too much. For example, the segment in the restaurant where his ex-wife and girl friend are both there would have, perhaps, been a bit funny if it had been half as long. Instead, it went on and on and on and on. As did another misunderstanding when there are 2 Santa Clauses. On and on and on, way beyond being funny.

The other thing I very much disliked in this film was the performance by Eleanor Parker, particularly in the early part of the film. There is such a thing as over-acting, and she demonstrates it here. I was surprised because I have always felt that she was an underrated actress.

Errol Flynn's acting here is reasonably good...just not the situations they put him in. One bit of cleverness are a number of times when there are vague and fairly clever references to Flynn as he appeared in his older films.

Lucile Watson is good as Parker's mother (seems like it was a role she often played). S. Z. Sakall is here...playing S. Z. Sakall; he never changed. Forrest Tucker has a role that is a bit unusual for him. A supporting actor we didn't see enough of -- Tom D'Andrea -- has a small role here. And Hattie McDaniel appears as -- what else -- a maid; but as always she shined.

I really thought I would like this film, but no. This was a poor film.
1 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
Expert cast can't save rom com which fails to tickle the funny bone
Turfseer29 May 2014
Warning: Spoilers
With a top notch cast including Errol Flynn (not known for comedy roles, but acquitting himself very well here), the extremely versatile Eleanor Parker (who appeared in over 80 film and TV roles), Hattie McDaniel (the iconic actress who was the first African-American to win an Oscar), S.Z. Sakall (a Hungarian Jewish character actor most famous for his role in 'Casablanca'), Forrest Tucker (best known for his role in the TV series 'F Troop') and an excellent performance by the child actress Patti Brady (does anyone know what happened to her after she retired from show business?), it's still not too hard to figure out why 'Never Say Goodbye' will never be considered part of the comic film pantheon, today or when it was released back in 1946.

The film is billed sort of like the 1961 Disney comedy, 'The Parent Trap', where children conspire to reunite their divorced parents. In 'Never Say Goodbye', the 8 year old 'Flip', actually doesn't take any covert action to reunite her parents Phil (Flynn) and Ellen (Parker) Gayley, until the film's climax.

The film's expository sequence introduces us to both Phil and Ellen, who come into a clothing store, looking to buy an outfit for Flip. Ellen opts for a conservative suit but Phil wants something a bit more snazzy. Soon we discover why the couple got divorced in the first place. Ellen was jealous of what she perceived as Phil's philandering. As a high- priced artist/illustrator, Phil is in contact with beautiful models who sit for him as he draws their portraits for various magazines. Phil denies Ellen's belief that he was cheating on her. Still, the couple appear to maintain an affable relationship. A secondary catalyst in the couple's divorce is the role of Ellen's mother, Mrs. Hamilton, who influenced her daughter as she was convinced all long that Phil was not really 'husband' material.

The film is divided into three primary comic sequences. In the first sequence, Phil forgets that he invited both Ellen and the model Nancy Graham (whose portrait he's recently been painting) to a dinner date. It's all rather obvious stuff with Phil running back and forth between rooms in the restaurant, in a futile attempt to prevent Ellen learning of his faux pas. S.Z. Sakall gets in the act as 'Luigi', the owner of the restaurant, who obviously isn't Italian but explains at the end of the film that he simply adopted the name of the last owner, as he didn't want to change the name of the restaurant. His contribution is a silly scene where he calls Nancy from an adjoining phone booth and attempts to get her to go to Phil's studio—she of course shortly discovers the ruse and Phil's plan to save himself from Ellen's wrath, evaporates.

The second sequence involves Mrs. Hamilton's solicitor, Rex, who dresses up as Santa Claus and is supposed to bring Flip some presents. Phil decides to crash the party and also dresses up as Santa. Phil keeps kissing Ellen but she mistakes him for Rex and doesn't think that's Kosher at all. At one point, there's a scene which has been done countless times before where Rex believes he's looking at a mirror when he spies Phil, who duplicates Rex's moves, to fool him. Despite being unmasked, Ellen finds Phil's aggressiveness quite attractive.

The third sequence involves the appearance of Corporal Fenwick Lonkowski (Forrest Tucker). Flip had been writing to him while he was overseas and at Phil's suggestion, she used a picture of Ellen to send to him. When Fenwick shows up at the apartment, Ellen is initially frightened but then decides to use him to make Phil jealous. Phil dresses up as a gangster and speaks like Humphrey Bogart (the famed actor's voice was dubbed in, in an uncredited performance). Fenwick decks Phil and there's also some additional silliness where Phil attempts to match Fenwick's calisthenics prowess.

The narrative suddenly concludes with Flip intentionally disappearing coupled with a frantic search where the police are called. Flip actually is with Luigi and due to the shock of having temporarily lost their daughter, both Phil and Ellen decide they actually do love each other and need to be together, to take care of Flip.

In the end, 'Never Say Goodbye' is usually quite silly but simply not funny. Most of the humor depends on Ellen's jealousy toward Phil. But the outcome is pre-ordained since the couple still maintain quite an affable relationship and Phil is basically such a nice guy. Often, the humor veers toward slapstick to compensate for the weak comic premise. While all the performances here are quite good, the material doesn't dig deep enough to tickle the funny bone. For true Christmas fare, watch 'It's a Wonderful Life' and skip 'Never Say Goodbye'.
1 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Very funny family and romance comedy
SimonJack16 January 2019
Errol Flynn had a tinge of light-heartedness in his persona when playing most of the swashbuckler films for which he initially became famous. Well, his screen character segues nicely into comedy as seen in this fine comedy romance. "Never Say Goodbye" is a 1946 film that takes place in that time - a year after the end of World War II. The military only plays into the story incidentally, but very pointedly toward the end. And, the film connects with the Christmas holidays in the end.

The plot is a familiar one that Hayley Mills made hay with in "The Parent Trap" of 1961. A child (or two) tries to get her divorced parents back together. In this case, it's seven-year-old Philippa "Flip" Gayley who has been living six months of each year with one and then the other of her parents. Patti Brady didn't go beyond childhood stardom, but she sure nails the part in this film. Hattie McDaniel is Cozy, her nanny who goes with Flip on each residential exchange.

Flip's parents are Phil Gayley, played by Errol Flynn, and Ellen Gayley, played by Eleanor Parker. He is a successful commercial artist and illustrator, and Ellen comes from a wealthy family. A few supporting actors have nice roles in this fun film. Forrest Tucker plays Marine Corporal Fenwick Lonkowski. S.Z. Sakall plays restauranteur Luigi. And Lucile Watson plays Mrs. Hamilton. She does a good job as an irate mother-in-law who doesn't want Ellen to fall again for Phil. One enjoys such a good portrayal of a person who clearly has the role that a villain would otherwise play in a drama or crime film.

By the way, the best portrayal of a mother-in-law that everyone in an audience will hate is by Florence Bates. She plays Myrna Loy's mother, Mrs. Cooper, in the riotously funny "Love Crazy" of 1941.

Anyway, one knows how this film will end. But the fun and the entertainment is in how it gets to that point. The comedy comes in a mix of situations, some antics, and a very good script with funny lines. Here are some favorites. For more dialog, see the Quotes section under this IMDb Web page of the film.

Flip Galey, "Oh, daddy, you're such a flirt." Luigi, "She knows you."

Mrs. Hamilton, "And as time goes on, you' wonder what you ever saw in Phillip in the first place." Ellen Gayley, "Well, I know what he saw in me, and... I just want to refresh his memory."

Ellen Gayley, "Don't tell me you've been playing hooky all this time." Flip Gayley, "Oh, no, mommy. Only the last four days." Ellen Gayley, "Oh, Phil." Phil Gayley, "Well, she's smarter than those other kids. I thought it only fair to let the rest of the class catch up with her.

Phil Gayley, "Ellen, I'm a little bit disappointed in you. Carousing around every dive in town. Wallowing in cocktails. Stepping home at 7 or 8 in the morning." Ellen Gayley, "At least I waited until we were divorced." Phil Gayley, "But, but, but, but... the old goat butted you right into Reno."

Ellen Gayley, "I can't understand it." Phil Gayley, "What?" Ellen Gayley, "You sing like that and I married you."

Phil Gayley, "I don't care about Nancy. But I don't want her to start making a scene. You know how she is." Luigi, "Sure. You take a girl out to dinner two or three hundred times and right away she thinks you're interested in her."

A janitor, McCarthy, enters Phil's studio and sees him painting trees. McCarthy, "Why do ya waste your time on this stuff for?" Phil Gayley, "Oh, just getting back to nature." McCarthy, "There's more nature in one of them gorgeous girls you paint than in all them tired trees." Phil Gayley, "Yeah, but I can't get in trouble with the trees." McCarthy, "Oh, you've got a point there. Merry Christmas, Mr. Gayley."

As she and Phil walk away from his painting in the park, Flip asks, "You gonna leave your painting here?" Phil says, "Oh, sure. Nobody'll take it. I wouldn't want a thing like that in my home."

The Police Lieutenant in interrogating Luigi. Lieutenant, "You told us your name is Willie Schmidt. Then why does the kid call you Luigi?" Luigi, "Well, well you see, when I bought my restaurant, the name on the sign in the front was 'Luigi's.' And it was cheaper to change my name than to buy a new sign."
0 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Highly entertaining, despite the silliness; Surprisingly well worth a look!
aciolino22 December 2018
A dirty word today, we forget that for many years movies simply functioned to entertain audiences, not impress or instruct them. Here, thanks to a fairly good and script (and a real surprise) we are entertained. Flynn deserves applause for this comedic turn, so unlike his usual character roles, and he is deftly comedic. He is always a pleasure to look at and is believable all the time. The rest of the cast aids ably. Eleanor Parker is gorgeous and quite a physical comedienne in her own right, although there really isn't enough for her to do. Forrest Tucker proves a delightful foil, (then hero) to Flynn's frustrated separated husband. He dances a hilarious Rhumba, and matches Flynn's banter note for note, rendering some highly amusing moments. But this is Flynn's film and he carries it. Very well. Bravo, Mr. Flynn. Sad that he wasn't given more farce to do at this point in his career. "Never Say Good-bye" proves him more than capable. ENJOY!
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
***1/2
edwagreen24 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
To me, Errol Flynn and Eleanor Parker seemed uncomfortable at the film's beginning in their comedic roles. They seemed to have settled in very well as the film progressed.

The complications of a young daughter trying to get her parents to reunite certainly becomes hilarious here, especially in the restaurant and Christmas evening settings.

Co-stars Hattie McDaniel and Donald Woods are given little to do in the film. Forrest Tucker is excellent as the marine who enters the film late, who has been written to by the young daughter and immediately falls for Parker, really complicating matters as he desperately wants to get back to his ex-wife.

Tom D'Andrea does best what he always did in films, playing a close friend and Peggy Knudsen, who would later on be so great as the nurse and former pupil of Jennifer Jones in the memorable Good Morning, Miss Dove, does what she has to do as the other woman in Flynn's life.
0 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
If you've ever wondered, "What if Shirley Temple . . . "
oscaralbert27 June 2015
Warning: Spoilers
" . . . could NOT sing and dance, but only cry on cue?" NEVER SAY GOODBYE's Patti Brady as seven-year-old "Flip" provides a pretty good answer. Young Ms. Brady was a couple of years greener than Mr. Flynn's preferred Real Life female demographic when they shot GOODBYE, but as Mr. Scalia objected yesterday, it's only a matter of slippery slopes until the rest of America is "in like Flynn." GOODBYE is one of the 76 theatrical feature films in which Humprey Bogart had a speaking part (besides VIRGINIA CITY, I believe that THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS is the only other flick encompassing both Flynn and Bogie). They each had about two dozen more films to make and about a dozen years to live before their final GOODBYE. As "Phillip Gayley," Errol makes many allusions to his 1937 ROBIN HOOD role, along with his Bogart-as-gangster impression, in which Bogart himself dubs in the Duke Mantee sound-alike. Ironically, in LUCKY STARS, Bogart also had impersonated his tough guy film personae (this time on-screen), and Flynn's brief LUCKY STARS singing cameo was again entirely dubbed (though NOT by Bogie) from "Ave" to "Amen."
0 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed